Conceptual Metaphor Theory

Fusaroli,Riccardo; Morgagni,Simone

This issue of the Journal of Cognitive Semiotics presents a constructive, critical assessment of Conceptual Metaphors Theory (CMT) thirty years after its first introduction. Many characterizations and polemical caricatures of CMT portray it as a reductionist approach: an armchair preconception that language and conceptual formations in general are (just) the expression of more primitive and fixed pre-linguistic experiential structures, which are due to having a body in a physical environment. The papers here sketch a more nuanced view of CMT: i) experiential structures depend on culturally and socially embodied processes; ii) experiential structures are resources for conceptualization, locally deployed in flexible ways, with the potential of evolving over time; iii) rigorous philosophical, empirical, and experimental research are all essential in developing CMT, while more theory-driven hypothesis testing, relying on corpora and experimental settings, is strongly needed

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